NHL Hockey Lines – How To Read Ice Hockey Betting Odds

NHL Hockey Lines - How To Read Ice Hockey Betting Odds

Before you place a bet, you need to understand the terminology and be able to read NHL hockey lines.

Most people think that picking the winner of an NHL match is the most important thing when making NHL bets.

However, successful people always do the opposite to the mean.

Professional sports bettors know that the most important thing about NHL betting is knowing which odds are correct.

But how do they know when the odds are in their favor?

That’s what this article is going to explain. Read on to find out how to read ice hockey betting odds and become a successful sports bettor.

What Are Betting Odds

Betting odds tell you how much you can win on a bet. The numbers are balanced by the sportsbooks to ensure they get enough action on either side of the betting line.

Betting odds are displayed in three formats:

  • American Betting Odds
  • Fractional Betting Odds
  • Decimal Betting Odds

Sportsbooks will set a default format to your betting account based on your location but most allow you to change them based on your personal preference.

Here is how to read American odds, how to read fractional odds and how to read decimal odds.

American NHL Betting Odds

American odds is the most popular of format for NHL betting. Here is an example of how American odds are displayed:

The American odds favorite is displayed by a ‘-‘ sign and shows you how much you need to bet to win $100. In the example above, the Maple Leafs are the favorites, so you would need to bet $130 on the moneyline to make $100 profit.

On the other hand, the American odds underdog is displayed by a ‘+’ sign and shows you how much you can win from a $100 bet. Using the above example again, the Bruins are underdogs so, from a $100 bet on the moneyline, you would make a $110 profit.

If you aren’t betting in $100 units, use the following formulas to calculate your profits.

For the favorite:

Profit = (100/Odds) * Bet Size

For the underdog:

Profit = (Odds/100) * Bet Size

You may have noticed that betting on the favorite or underdog doesn’t pay out the same ie -130 and +130. This is called the ‘vig’, which is the amount sportsbooks charge for taking a bet.

Fractional NHL Betting Odds

Here is the same match above but displayed as fractional odds:

To identify the favorite and underdog, look at the numbers on either side of the fraction.

If the top number (numerator) is smaller than the bottom number (denominator), they are the favorite. Likewise, if the numerator is bigger than the denominator, they are the underdog.

To calculate how much you profit, divide the numerator by the denominator and multiply it by your bet:

Profit = (Numerator / Denominator) * Bet

For example, a $100 moneyline bet on the Bruins would profit $110, whereas a $100 moneyline bet on the Maple Leafs would profit $76.92.

Fractional odds may sometimes require you to make some awkward payout calculations. Take a look at the odds on the Bruins on the puckline.

At 20/47, this isn’t easy to calculate so it’s easier to use American or decimal odds for NHL betting.

Decimal NHL Betting Odds

Decimal odds are different to American and fractional odds in that they produce the total money returned rather than just the profit.

Here is that same game but shown in decimal betting odds:

If the number is smaller than 2.0, they are are the favorite. If the number is greater than 2.0, they are the underdog.

To calculate your total money returned, multiply your wager by the decimal odds:

Total Money Returned = Decimal Odds * Bet Size

So, if we bet $100 on the Bruins on the moneyline, our total payout would be $210.

The profit can then be calculated by subtracting the original bet from the total money returned.

So a $100 bet on the Bruins on the moneyline would make $110 profit.

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